VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – In their final match of the 2019 season, the Saint Mary-of-the-Woods (SMWC) men's soccer team fell to Paul Quinn College this afternoon 4-0. Despite losing both their matches in their first Nationals trip in the young program's history, the team can be proud of the immense progress made in their 2nd full year. After wrapping up last season with a 6-7 record, the team stormed back this season behind play from Omar Abdallah Nabilsi and Edson Alvarado to post a 10-6-1 record and make their first trip to Nationals.
How It Happened
First Half: The Woods played hard but allowed Paul Quinn to move too easily through the defense for open looks. Mistakes led to a goal early as SMWC found themselves down 1-0 in the 13'. The surrendered goal seemed to affect the team as they quickly allowed a second and third goal at 14:00 and 15:01. The three goals in less than three minutes affected morale throughout the rest of the half but they were able to limit the damage at 3-0 at halftime.
Second Half: The team regrouped at the half with a plan to push harder offensively and it was evident. A goal allowed in the 59' wasn't helpful, but more looks on the offensive side of the ball came. The match remained chippy by both sides as the more physical play of Paul Quinn prevented SMWC from making much headway. The Pomeroys would wrap up their final match of the season losing 4-0.
Quote | Head Coach Abe Tizaf
"First of all, I really want to thank the athletic department for their support throughout this entire season, we [were] given all the support and resources we needed to enjoy this great first-time experience for the team. The team displayed a high level of play during the two games we had, and I am very proud of all of them. It's not easy for a young team to compete [against] strong and experienced ones, we didn't win the championship but we won the experience for the upcoming years. We will continue working on our skills and techniques, and take the opportunity we were given to improve for the next seasons."
Quote | Ismael Fletes
"I felt our first trip to Nationals served us as useful experience for the future of the program. We now know more of what to expect of the competition and I think that's very important. Next year, I'm looking forward to building on what we've done these last two years. I'm optimistic about having another shot at a National Championship and the journey that comes with it."
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